Discover the different types of hooks for hanging various things in the house in this comprehensive buying guide of hanging hooks, including instructional videos, installation tips, and other useful information for choosing the right hanging hooks.
Hanging hooks are simple yet versatile household solutions that often get very little attention. Yet the wrong set of hooks for hanging things can ruin your room’s aesthetic and the wrong type of hooks can be frustrating. It will be helpful to know the wide range of options available today for hanging hooks as well as other important considerations such as where and how to install them and how to choose the right type.
Check out our complete guide on buying hooks for hanging things in your home.
Hook Buying Guide
Hooks are a “must-have” for every household, but there are a few things to consider before you head out and buy the first hooks you see.
One of the biggest determining factors when buying hooks is their purpose. While hooks are often aesthetic and functional, it’s important to think about how you will use the hook, where you plan to install it, and the installation process.
In addition to functionality, you have various material options that can play an integral role in the durability and the look of your hooks.
A. Hook Types
The first thing you think about when looking for a hook is how you plan to use it in your home. With several different types of hooks available, you aren’t likely to use the same type of hook for clothing that you might use to hang up a pot or cooking utensils.
The type of hook you choose matters, and while there are dozens of options to choose from, the main types of hooks for hanging things are S-shaped, over-the-door, peg style, coat, ceiling, utility, and removable.
1. S-Shaped Hooks
S-shaped hooks are virtually impossible to be mistaken for any other type of hook due to its “S” shape. With a long history for their use in butcher shops for hanging carcasses, S-shaped hooks are still an asset in modern kitchens. Today, they have become more versatile in homes and everyday life.
Queen Elizabeth II reportedly carries an S-shaped hook with her so that she can hang her purse from a table when eating at restaurants.
S hooks are available in a variety of materials, from forged iron to plastic. You can purchase hand-made, one-of-a-kind S-shaped hooks at various artisan online marketplaces or buy in bulk at your local home improvement store.
While S hooks are a popular way to hang pots and pans on hanging racks in a kitchen, they are also a great way to keep your utility closet organized or make better use of a smaller space. Many shower curtain connectors are S-shaped.
2. Over-the-Door Hooks
Nearly every living space, whether you live in a studio apartment or large single-family home has multiple doors. An excellent way to utilize space is by placing an over-the-door hook on a closet door. Depending on the style of hook you choose, you have space to hang multiple items from clothing to brooms and other cleaning tools.
Over-the-door hooks are a great alternative if you are renting an apartment and can’t install permanent hooks on the doors or walls. These versatile types of hooks are as simple as a single hook to hang a wreath on your front door or as decorative and functional to hang clothing or towels on the back of a bathroom door.
Hooks that hang over your door are typically available in plastic or metal and have multiple tiers and hooks or just a few. If you plan on hanging heavier items on the back of your door, look for materials that will last and not interfere with the function of your door.
3. Peg Style Hooks
If you search for peg style hooks online, you might come up with a variety of results such as hooks for pegboards. While we love pegboards for an organizing and storage option, the peg style hook we’re talking about is a little different.
Peg style hooks are often referred to as Shaker peg racks and play an integral role in creating order, functionality, and simplicity. Peg style hooks are available on a wall rack or as individual pegs. Peg hooks work with a variety of interior design styles from Farmhouse to Minimalist.
Although most peg hoods are wooden, you may find plastic, metal, or mixed material versions that better suit your style and needs when it comes to hanging things up.
4. Coat Hook
The coat hook is often lumped together in the same category with peg style hooks because it has a similar function. Although coat hooks have somewhat of an iconic and easy-to-identify design, modern coat hooks are made of a variety of materials and come in many styles.
If you live in an older home, you may have metal coat hooks in a hallway closet, and the type of hook is a popular choice for storage lockers and coat racks. Like other types of hooks, a coat hook is multi-purpose and is available as one hook or comes already attached to a rack or board.
If you have coat hooks in your home, there’s a good chance that you use it for more than just coats. Since most coat hooks are heavy-duty, they are designed to hold the weight of various items from backpacks to heavy parkas.
5. Ceiling Hooks
Even though many homeowners use hooks for hanging things on their doors and walls, occasionally, there’s a need for ceiling hooks. Ceiling hooks provide an easy and secure way to hang house plants or save space and hang up lights instead of using a floor lamp.
6. Utility Hooks
Source: Home Depot
Utility hooks are probably the least aesthetic type of hook in our guide, but they are essential to have when hanging up heavy things in your garage, basement, or any area of your home.
Utility hooks are available in a variety of styles, but the most commonly known hook is one that screws into a wall or ceiling and has a vinyl coating. These types of hooks are suitable for hanging up heavy chains, storing bicycles, or gardening tools.
Some utility hooks have a collapsible and space-saving design, which are durable but better-suited for hanging up lightweight items.
7. Removable Hooks
For years, the only type of removable hook was attached to a suction cup that you could place on your window and most of the time they were unreliable. Today, there are a variety of removable hooks in a variety of designs and styles that can handle different weights and will work on different surfaces.
Removable hooks are versatile and relatively inexpensive. One of the main reasons why many people prefer removable hooks is because they are designed not to leave a mark on surfaces (if used correctly) and are easy to install. Removable hooks are a great alternative for people who can’t put holes in the walls.
Although removable hooks are often plastic, there are some with metal or made of mixed materials. Some are more aesthetic than others and are difficult to distinguish whether the hook is permanent hardware or removable.
B. Hook Installation Methods
Most hooks are easy to install, but some require a little more planning. Let’s take a closer look at the most common installation methods to see whether or not you need tools (or skills) to set up your hooks.
Hang Over without Screws
The hook that installs by hanging over and without any hardware like screws is typically an S-shaped hook. Due to its design, you don’t need to secure the hook to anything, just hang it on a rail, rack, or something else that is secure to a wall or door.
If you choose the right size S-hook for the item you are hanging up, such as a pot or pan, you don’t have to worry about anything fall down or off of the hook. Since S hooks are portable and “free” hanging, they tend to slide around a lot.
Even though it may seem like the things you have hanging up might come crashing down, they won’t go anywhere as long as the hook is long enough, and the rail or rack is strong enough to hold the weight of the item.
Hang Over with Screws
Source: Home Depot
Over-the-door hooks typically come with holes so that you can screw the hook to the door. While you don’t have to screw the hook into the door to use this type of hook, the screws can help keep the hook in place while you open and close the door.
Attach to the Wall or Door
Whether you choose hooks that are already attached to a rack or board or you plan to attach hooks individually, they usually require screws to attach to a wall or door. The most common way to attach peg style and coat hooks are by screwing them into the wall.
Most of these hooks come with hardware and specific instructions for installing them. Even if you don’t have a full arsenal of tools, a screwdriver is usually the only tool you need. For best results, it’s best to screw the hook into a stud in the wall.
Screwing Directly into the Wall or Ceiling
Installing a ceiling hook is often more challenging than a standard coat or peg hooks. Since many ceilings are made of drywall or are “false” ceilings, it’s difficult to find a joist to secure the hook. Some ceiling hooks have an anchor design to prevent the hook from falling out of the ceiling after you hang something from it, like a plant.
Putting screw hooks into your ceiling is definitely a doable DIY project, but don’t attempt to install the hook until you’re certain about the placement and don’t have the right tools on hand.
If you’re using a screw hook on a wall, you should follow the same rules as you would when installing a coat or peg hook.
Adhesive or Suction
Removable hooks are easy to install with either an adhesive strip or a suction cup. Although this installation method typically does not require any tools to put up the hook or take it down, it’s important to follow instructions to reduce the risk of damaging paint or breaking the hook.
C. Weight Capacity
Before you install a hook to hang things up, whether it’s on your wall or in the ceiling, it’s important to consider weight capacity. Stronger materials like wood or metal are likely to hold more weight than a plastic hook, but the hook’s ability to hold weight greatly depends on how and where you install the hook.
When you install a coat hook properly, such as in a stud in the wall, it may have a weight capacity of over 25 pounds. Hooks with adhesive strips typically handle around 7 pounds or less, but again the weight capacity will vary based on a number of factors.
For best results, follow the installation instructions and look for hooks that give a specific weight capacity.
II. More Details
Here are a few thoughts on durability, as well as pricing considerations.
A. Type of Hook Material
Not only does a proper installation play an important role in the longevity and durability of your hooks, but the material of the hook is also essential.
As we mentioned a bit earlier, metal and wood are likely to be your strongest and long-lasting options, but it’s important to remember that not all wood or metal materials are high-quality. A handcrafted wood peg rack is made of hardwood, such as the Shaker peg hooks, are likely to last longer than wooden peg rack where the pegs are glued into the rack board.
Lighter weight and soft metals, like aluminum, are more likely to bend more easily under the weight of hanging items and have a lower weight capacity. An aluminum hook rail has about half the weight capacity of a similar hook rail made out of cast iron.
B. Hook Pricing
The price of hooks varies as greatly as the types of hooks that are available. You can purchase a single wall hook for less than a dollar and spend a couple of hundred dollars on a row of coat hooks that attaches to the wall.
While cost doesn’t always reflect the quality of a product, your hooks are likely to last longer when you invest a little more into them. Keep in mind that proper installation and not exceeding the weight capacity plays an important role regardless of how much you end up spending on hooks.
Since most types of hooks are easy to install on your own, you don’t have to spend more on installation costs. If you feel more comfortable hiring someone to install hooks in your home, such as a coat rack in your foyer or ceiling hooks in your living room, you can expect to pay general handyman prices.
If you only need someone to install coat hooks or a hook rail, you might have better luck doing it yourself than finding someone who is willing to do the small job.
III. Where To Buy Hooks Online
Now that you know more about some of the most common types of hooks for hanging things, here’s a list of our favorite online merchants. These merchants have an extensive hook collection and have additional information to help you decide which type of hook is best for you: